Tight end Brock Wright first made his presence felt inside Notre Dame Stadium when he was a rising junior in high school. Wright attended Notre Dame’s Irish Invasion camp, and his performance was quite impressive. One week later, Wright committed to Notre Dame.
Three months later, Wright was joined in the class by fellow Class of 2017 standout tight end Cole Kmet. The duo formed the nation’s best one-two punch at their position in that class, and they arrived at Notre Dame with high expectations. Wright was ranked as the nation’s best tight end by ESPN and Rivals, and the networks ranked him No. 29 and No. 44 overall nationally, respectively.
Kmet met those expectations, developing into an offensive force in 2019, which led him to leave early for the NFL, where he was selected by the Chicago Bears in the second round.
Wright has yet to live up to his prep billing, catching just four passes for 57 yards in his first three seasons at Notre Dame. Heading into his final season, Wright gets one last crack at living up to the expectations and becoming a key part of the Irish offense.
TIGHT ENDS NEED LEADERSHIP
Rising junior Tommy Tremble returns as the most productive player at the position, but Wright is in position to be the glue that holds the otherwise inexperienced unit together.
There is a lot of talent on the tight end depth chart, but the unit needs to be focused, it needs to mature and it needs a leader to set the example for how each player in the unit needs to go about his business.
Even if Wright doesn’t step into a more prominent on-field role, he could still have a significant impact on the offense if all he does is provide the leadership the tight ends need, and if he can keep the group working towards the same objectives.
BLOCKING IS THE KEY
Being a leader is not the only thing Wright will want to provide in 2020. He’ll want to be a regular on Saturdays as well, and the primary key to him making that happening is for Wright to become a force in the run game.
One of the more surprising aspects of Wright’s tenure at Notre Dame has been his inconsistency, and at times downright struggles in the run game. Blocking was expected to be the top strength of Wright’s game. He has the size and showed the power in high school to dominate, and it appeared as though it would translate to college, but thus far it has not.
Wright had some positive run game moments during the second half of the season, and he needs to build on that as a senior. Wright isn’t the kind of athlete or pass catcher to earn a role as a primary weapon in the pass game. He must be a strong run blocker first, and how effective he is in the run game will determine how much overall playing time he will get.
POSSIBLE SECURITY BLANKET
If Wright steps up in the run game he’ll get plenty of action, and that will lead to him being on the field in more pass downs as well.
Wright is not as fluid or explosive athletically as Tremble, but he brings traits that can add value to the offense. The Cypress, Texas native has good vertical speed up the seams and can be effective working the middle of the field. Wright has strong hands, and all of these traits could end up with Wright becoming a security blanket for quarterback Ian Book.
Kmet and wide receiver Chase Claypool took turns in that role last season, and Wright could help fill it in 2020 if he can force his way on the field.
Wright will need to work hard to keep Tremble, junior George Takacs and freshman Michael Mayer from eating away at his snaps, but if he plays well enough to keep them off the field he’ll end his Notre Dame career on a very strong note.
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Tight end Brock Wright first made his presence felt inside Notre Dame Stadium when he was a rising junior in high school. Wright attended Notre Dame’s Irish Invasion camp, and his performance was quite impressive. One week later, Wright committed to Notre Dame. Subscribe for full article
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